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Accounting for the Gender Technology Gap Amongst Smallholder Rice Farmers in Northern Ghana

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Journal of Agricultural Economics

Published online on


Narrowing the gender technology gap in agricultural production has become a critical policy issue in sub‐Saharan Africa. A better understanding of the gender technology gap is essential for policy formulation and programme planning to ensure equity in resource allocation, and household‐level food security in low and middle income countries, such as Ghana. We employ a metafrontier approach to analyse the differences in the efficiency of male and female farmers, recognising the endogeneity of some of the variables in the inefficiency effects model, in particular the credit constraints of the rice farmers under study. Our findings show that while the rice farms themselves are very similar, average yields for male managed farms tend to be significantly higher than female managed farms reflecting higher seeding and fertiliser application rates on male managed farms. However, there is no significant difference between the genders in either land used for rice or total output per farm household. We find some evidence that relative to the metafrontier, male managed farms are less efficient than female managed farms. The results further show gender technology gap amongst the smallholder rice farmers with females’ technology gap ratio being significantly greater than that of males, with females operating on a production frontier closer to the metafrontier. Policies that provide females more access to productive resources and other agricultural services could assist in the generation of relatively higher output.